“Spinning is pure energy”: introduction to the (destabilizing) dance of the whirling dervishes

At the end of the afternoon, in Ornaisons (Aude), the participants in the retreat twirl or play the tambourine in a joy and abandonment shared by all. A broad smile graces the face of Rana Gorgani, the organizer, as she slowly stops spinning to sit next to the lute player. ” You cry ? », she says when she sees Yosra crushing a tear of emotion. Satisfied, Rana says: “That’s the hal ! »that is to say this “state”, for some a moment of ecstasy, for others a shared plenitude, during which musicians and dancers are all transported by music and dance.

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In this eco-place in open countryside, a sort of luxury lodging rented for the occasion, the nine retreatants from all over France learn, for two and a half days, the dance steps of the whirling dervishes. This Sufi order (mystical current of Islam), founded in the 13th century by the Persian poet Rûmî, bases its spirituality on a practice consisting in spinning on oneself until reaching, for certain dancers, a form of trance. lived as a mystical experience. Having become famous, this practice has now crossed borders and attracts followers far beyond Sufism and Islam.

Discover “the sacred dimension of the body”

Here, in Ornaisons, between two dance sessions, an introduction to dof, a large Iranian tambourine, allows everyone to immerse themselves in Sufi rhythm and music. The theme of this stay is “Love”. After a vegetarian meal served in silence, Abdoul Wane, 32, a psychiatric and addictology nurse in Paris, explains his presence this weekend. Proof of the universality of the dance of the dervishes, he is the only participant of the Muslim faith.

“Spinning is pure energy, it’s like entering an upward spiral with different colors”

“My father is Senegalese. I know the Sufism of Morocco and Senegal”, he starts. The esotericism specific to the Sufi brotherhoods seduces him. He sees, he says, “the heart of Islam, that is to say my deep faith”. Abdoul prays five times a day, while enjoying practicing yoga and watching contemporary dance. “I wanted to do something with my body and I love spirituality in a broad sense. Turn [comme un derviche] transports me, it’s pleasant, I don’t have a headache. »

In the samâ, the position of the arms of the sacred dance of the whirling dervishes: one arm towards the sky and the other towards the earth, which means: “All that I receive passes through my heart, then I give it back;  I don't own anything.  »

These regular spiritual practices represent for him a ” lifestyle “ which also conditions his relationships with the patients he cares for. “Everything is care in Sufism: the care of oneself and that of others through better control of oneself, one’s ego and one’s body. »

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“Spinning is pure energy”: introduction to the (destabilizing) dance of the whirling dervishes